Pepe Le Pew is on the prowl. Yep, February through March is skunk mating season, and many of us in Northern California have been detecting The Striped Ones' signature aroma on our morning walks or weekend hikes. Skunks can be found almost everywhere—including your back yard—and are highly active and excitable at this time of year. Males range widely and won't hesitate to spray anything, animal or human, that invades their mate-hunting territory. The musky compound produced in their anal glands can be launched as far as 15 feet.
What to do if you or your dog is sprayed with icky, oily eau de Mephitis mephitis? Skip the tomato juice and vinegar; you need a de-stink solution that will neutralize the odor, not mask it. A solution of 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and two tablespoons of liquid dish detergent will work. The concoction will fizz and foam furiously and can sting your dog's eyes, so use extreme caution on Romeo's face. Mix the solution in an open bowl or container, don't store it and don't put it in a spray bottle: It will, quite literally, blow up. And one more thing: If your dog is bitten or scratched by a skunk, contact your veterinarian immediately. Skunks can carry rabies, and that's stinkin' serious stuff.